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Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt. Beat until mixture is combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Stir in chocolate pieces and, if desired, nuts.
Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 9 minutes or until edges are just lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool.